News

Countries Observe World AIDS Day on Saturday

This Saturday, December 1st, is World AIDS Day. The idea of holding a special day to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS dates back to a summit of health ministers in 1988. Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region of the world most affected by AIDS, but all countries suffer from the pandemic. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.

AIDS awareness programs will be held in many cities around the world on World AIDS Day. In San Francisco, AIDS awareness programs are not limited to December 1st.

An estimated 25,000 people participated there in an annual AIDS walk in July. Mark Cloutier helped organize the event. He says, "It raises the issue. It raises awareness."

It also raises money to help those with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Programs like the AIDS walk, free testing and AIDS education are part of the reason the World Health Organization says the percentage of people living with HIV has leveled off.

Still, 33 million people around the world are estimated to be living with HIV. This year, another 2.5 million people contracted the virus while two million more died from AIDS.

Eight African countries account for almost one third of all new HIV infections and deaths.

And the World Health Organization reports that HIV has increased by more than 150 percent in Eastern Europe and Central Asia in the past six years. The data show the number of people living with HIV has more than doubled in Vietnam while Indonesia has the fastest growing epidemic.

The United Nations and the Chinese government estimate in a survey released Thursday that 700,000 people are infected with HIV in China. That is less than one percent of the population, but the report shows that between 30 and 50 million people are at risk because of high risk behavior.

More money is available for HIV/AIDS programs. President Bush has made the United States the world leader in its level of support for the fight against the virus. He said, "This investment has yielded the best possible return: saved lives."

Money has also poured in from private sources. And many governments have become more involved. The Thai government is cited for its efforts to de-stigmatize the disease through programs like Positive Partnership, where one person with HIV is given a small loan to start a business with a partner who does not have HIV. Both people benefit from the income and people who once shunned those with HIV become their customers.

James Wagoner is president of Advocates for Youth, an organization that focuses on youth and sexual health. He says every day, 6,000 young people worldwide contract HIV. "The chief problem is denial -- denial by adult policy makers and politicians that young people need sex education to prevent HIV. Denial that the research shows that if you educate young people about sex, about condoms, about prevention, it does not cause sexual activity, despite the protestations of numerous governments and policy makers."

The theme of the 2007 World AIDS Day focuses on leadership, political and social, to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.

The irony is that Washington, D.C., the capital of the country that provides the most global funding for AIDS, leads the nation in the number of people with AIDS.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs